Green Bank Observatory/Arecibo Observatory Single Dish and Observer Training Workshops
Single Dish Workshop: May 11-15 ; Arecibo Observer Training: May 16-17 ; GBT Observer Training: May 18-20
Green Bank Observatory, Green Bank, WV
Open only to the Scientific Community and Observers
The GBO/AO Single Dish Workshop (May 11-15) will provide students, post-docs, and experts in other fields of astronomy with knowledge and practical experience in the techniques and applications of single-dish radio astronomy. The workshop will be based around an intensive series of lectures from experts at the Green Bank Observatory and Arecibo Observatory, as well as hands-on radio-astronomy projects and tutorials. Topics to be covered include key science areas for single dish radio telescopes, radio emission processes, fundamentals of radio telescopes and radio frequency instrumentation, observing techniques and strategies, calibration and data processing, and complementary use of single dish and interferometric telescopes.
The GBO/AO Single Dish Workshop will be immediately followed by back-to-back observer training workshops (May 16-20). Participants will spend two days learning how to remotely observe using the Arecibo Observatory and two days learning to observe using the Green Bank Telescope. The GBT and Arecibo Observer Training Workshops will provide the essential skills and knowledge needed to use the GBT and Arecibo and maximize their scientific output. After completing the workshops, an attendee will be certified to use both telescopes as a remote observer. The workshops will focus on hands-on training in the observing techniques most relevant to participants (e.g. spectral line, continuum, pulsar, radar, VLBI, etc.).
Participants may attend all three workshops, or sign up for any workshop individually.
The GBO/AO Single Dish Workshop will begin on the morning of May 11 and continue through the evening of May 15. Attendees should plan on arriving in Green Bank on May 10 and departing no earlier than the evening of May 15 (if not staying for the GBT and Arecibo Observer Training Workshops) in order to participate fully in all workshop activities.
The GBT and Arecibo Observer Training Workshops will begin on the morning of May 16 and end with lunch on May 20. Participants should plan on arriving in Green Bank on the evening of May 15 (if not already on-site for the Single Dish Workshop) and staying through the lunch on May 20, since observing sessions will be scheduled overnight.
A detailed schedule will be distributed closer to the start of the workshops. An example schedule from the 2019 workshop is available here.
The Green Bank Observatory is located in Green Bank, West Virginia.
The street address is:
Green Bank Observatory
155 Observatory Road
Green Bank, WV, 24944
and our GPS coordinates are: 38.431950, -79.817135
Green Bank is within driving distance of several international and regional airports.
- Dulles International Airport (IAD) – Approx. 4 hours
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) – Approx. 4 hours
- Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) – Approx. 4 hours
- Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) – Approx. 2.75 hours
- Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Airport (CHO) – Approx. 2.5 hours
- Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) – Approx. 2 hours (Note: Commercial flights are only offered through United Airlines)
- Greenbrier Valley Airport (LWB) – Approx. 1.75 hours (Note: Commercial flights are only offered through United Airlines)
Most visitors fly into IAD or CHO. When possible, we will arrange ride sharing. Details will be arranged closer to the date of the workshop.
Attendees are responsible for covering all of their travel costs.
The Observatory will provide shuttle service to and from Dulles International Airport (IAD) for an additional fee. The total round trip cost of the shuttle service is $1,362. The exact cost per person will depend on the number of riders that we can place in the same shuttle. We will confirm the per-person cost of the shuttle no later than one week before the date of the workshop.
Participants who wish to make use of the shuttle service should take note of the following important information when booking their travel.
There will be three round-trips between Green Bank Observatory and Dulles International Airport (IAD) during the Single Dish and Observer Training Workshops. The schedule for these shuttles is as follows.
- The first shuttle will depart IAD no later than 2:00 PM Eastern Time on Sunday, May 10, 2020. This shuttle will arrive prior to the start of the Single Dish Workshop.
- The second shuttle will depart Green Bank Observatory at 7:00 AM Eastern Time on Saturday, May 16, 2020 and arrive at IAD no earlier than 12:00 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The return shuttle to Green Bank Observatory will depart IAD no later than 2:00 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, May 16, 2020. This shuttle intended for those who are attending the Single Dish Workshop but not staying for the Observer Training Workshops, or those who are attending the Observer Training Workshops but not the Single Dish Workshop.
- The third shuttle depart Green Bank Observatory no earlier than 1:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. This shuttle will depart after the conclusion of the GBT Observer Training Workshop.
The typical travel time from Green Bank Observatory to IAD is 4 hours, but we recommend that participants making use of the shuttle plan for 5 hours of travel time between the Observatory and IAD in travel in case of any unforeseen delays. Participants are reminded to also leave time for clearing airport security. Please keep these times in mind when booking your flights. Green Bank Observatory is not responsible for any missed flights or other travel complications that may arise for participants who book their flights without taking these restrictions into consideration.
Participants who wish to make use of the shuttle must complete their registration and confirm their plan to use the shuttle no later than two weeks before the start of the workshop.
Lodging and Meals
Meals and lodging will be provided for all attendees free of charge, and there are no additional workshop fees. Attendees will stay in the observatory residence hall. Some attendees may need to share rooms depending on the number of participants. Meals will be provided on-site.
Radio Frequency Interference and the National Radio Quiet Zone
Green Bank Observatory is located in the heart of the National Radio Quiet Zone and the West Virginia Radio Astronomy Zone. These areas provide regulatory protection against certain sources of radio frequency interference that may otherwise negatively impact the scientific operations of the observatory. There is no cell phone reception within many miles of the observatory. GPS navigation typically works but should not be solely relied upon, and maps should be downloaded for offline use. The use of wireless internet, Bluetooth, and other wireless communications is strictly prohibited on Observatory grounds. Electronic equipment, including digital cameras, are prohibited near telescopes.
Wired ethernet connections are available for use by attendees in work areas and the residence hall rooms, and Observatory computing resources will also be accessible. Attendees should be sure that any personal computers or tablets are compatible with a wired ethernet connection. Adapters for tablets and ultra-portable laptops will not be provided.
More information is available here.
Below are some useful resources for new and experienced GBT and Arecibo observers. These resources will be covered in detail during the workshops, but attendees are welcome to briefly review the information below to familiarize themselves with some of the terminology prior to arrival.
Practical Information for GBT Observers
GBT Observer’s Guide
GBT Proposal Guide
Dynamic Scheduling System
Remote Observing Instructions
GBTIDL (Spectral line data reduction software)
PRESTO (pulsar data reduction software)
MUSTANG Data Reduction Guide
Observing with the Arecibo Telescope
Introduction to CIMA (Arecibo Observatory telescope control interface)
Odds and Ends
All workshops will include a tour of the GBT, weather permitting. Closed-toe shoes are required to go on the GBT tour. The GBT is an active mechanical structure, so visitors should bring appropriate clothing for the tour (i.e., avoid loose articles, and don't wear anything that can't get dirty).
Green Bank is located in the Appalachian Mountains at an elevation of 2,700 feet (~823 meters). Weather in May is typically warm during the day but can be cool at night.
Questions should be directed to Ryan Lynch (email@example.com)
Registrations can be canceled up to one week before the start of the workshops.
Federal regulations require that all visitors to the Green Bank Observatory must complete Denied Party Screening. Please complete this form in addition to your normal registration. You may list Ryan Lynch as your "NRAO Host". Visitors requiring a letter of invitation must complete screening before a letter can be sent.